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Stand (in the Place Where You Work): Month 2

Last month I wrote about beginning an experiment using a standing desk at work. My reasons were simple. Standing desks seem like healthier tools for long days at work: better on the back, more conducive to stretching and light movement through the day, and aids to alertness. Full disclosure reminder: GeekDesk generously sent me a review unit of their GeekDesk Max for this experiment. And before I update you on my progress, let me note that the comments on my last post are well worth reviewing. They include many use cases for standing (or not) at work and also recommendations for other standing desk solutions.

Okay. I’m now about 6 weeks into my standing experiment, and have begun noticing significant changes as a result:

  1. My legs are (usually) no longer tired at the end of the day. In my first post I noted that my body was not yet used to standing, but that has definitely changed. I find I can stand for a significant portion of each day without undue fatigue.
  2. My days have been far more productive. I’m not sure I can tied this entirely to standing, but I have found that when I’m on my feet it’s easier to concentrate on tasks. Perhaps it’s a mental effect that will wane, but when I’m on my feet I feel like I should be “doing” and that has translated into more consistent work during the day.
  3. I’m losing weight. That probably shouldn’t be one’s primary goal for standing at work, but it has happened for me in the past weeks. Without delving into dull detail, I’ve been able to resume wearing pants that haven’t fit comfortably since midway through grad school. The weight itself isn’t what’s most encouraging here, but rather the signal that I am getting more exercise (in admittedly small doses) throughout the day.

Overall, then, the experiment has been very positive. I still don’t think I’ve found the right standing-sitting balance, and welcome more advice about that problem. I’ve also noticed bad habits creeping into my standing—I’ll occasionally realize that I’m leaning heavily (slumped really) on the desktop, which mitigates against the posture advantages that come from standing. Perhaps those moments are when I should be sitting.

Do you stand at work (or not)? Give us your advice about workplace posture in the comments.

[Creative Commons licensed photo by Flickr user Ulabdog2010.]

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